1

garble

play
verb gar·ble \ˈgär-bəl\

Definition of garble

garbled

garbling

play \-b(ə-)liŋ\
  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 archaic :  cull 1

  3. 2 :  to sift impurities from

  4. 3 a :  to so alter or distort as to create a wrong impression or change the meaning <garble a story> b :  to introduce textual error into (a message) by inaccurate encipherment, transmission, or decipherment

garbler

play \-b(ə-)lər\ noun

Examples of garble in a sentence

  1. <the candidate complained that his views had been deliberately garbled by his opponent>

  2. <garbled spices are less likely to contaminate a recipe>

Did You Know?

Garble developed from Late Latin cribellare, a verb meaning "to sift." Arabic speakers borrowed "cribellare" as "gharbala," and the Arabic word passed into Old Italian as garbellare; both of these words also meant "to sift." When the word first entered Middle English as "garbelen," its meaning stayed close to the original; it meant "to sort out the best." But that sort of sifting can cause a distortion, and in early Modern English "garble" came to mean "to distort the meaning or sound of."

Origin and Etymology of garble

Middle English garbelen, from Old Italian garbellare to sift, from Arabic gharbala, from Late Latin cribellare, from cribellum sieve; akin to Latin cernere to sift — more at certain


First Known Use: 15th century


2

garble

noun gar·ble

Definition of garble

  1. 1 :  the impurities removed from spices in sifting

  2. 2 :  an act or an instance of garbling

1502

First Known Use of garble

1502


GARBLE Defined for English Language Learners

1

garble

play
verb gar·ble \ˈgär-bəl\

Definition of garble for English Language Learners

  • : to cause (a word, name, message, etc.) to be unclear or confusing


GARBLE Defined for Kids

garble

play
verb gar·ble \ˈgär-bəl\

Definition of garble for Students

garbled

garbling

  1. :  to change or twist the meaning or sound of <He garbled the message.>

History for garble

At first the word garble meant “to sift” or “to sort or pick out.” If you pick out a few misleading parts of a message and report only those parts, you distort the message, and so garble came to mean “to distort.” It is the meaning “sift,” however, that reflects the origin of garble. The English word garble came from an old Italian verb garbellare that meant “to sift.” This word came in turn from an Arabic word gharbala that meant “sieve.” The Arabs took this word ultimately from a Latin word cribellum that meant “sieve.”



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